A teenager has been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour after doctors said her migraines were nothing but growing pains.Amanda Day lived with crippling headaches, double vision and unbearable back pain. But despite attending repeated doctor’s appointments she said her symptoms were dismissed as “growing pains” and one doctor even said she was lying. But with possibly weeks to live an MRI finally showed she had a tumour on her brain stem in 2013.
Amanda was just 15 and studying for her GCSEs when she collapsed at school. She said: “I had been in a slow decline for months and mum told me later that she believed I had just weeks to live. When the MRI finally took place the doctor had to eat her words … I was very upset but also relieved that, finally, people believed me.” Amanda had surgery the day before New Year’s Eve.
She said: “My life as a ‘normal’ teenager was over. The surgery had left me completely exhausted and I had a month off to rest and recuperate before starting six weeks of radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital. My treatment was high dosage in order to target tumour cells which had diffused into my spine. After the second day I was in a wheelchair.”
Amanda, who would like to study photography at college, has been told her tumour will grow back. She said: “We know that my tumour, which was identified as a pilocytic astrocytoma, will grow back again but no-one knows when. It could be in five years or 50. I may need more surgery and perhaps there will be different treatment options in the future.”